HasCon Report: Part 1
By Flag Points Dave
GI Joe has always been a “local” thing to me. I grew up in the Catskill Mountains of New York, played with the toys in my woods, my streams and my fields with my good buddies for hours. Like many others, I imagined myself in the role of my favorite character(s) while playing with neighborhood friends, Bill and Marc, or even when I went for walks by myself. I’ll admit, that still happens!
Well, the epicenter for Joe toy creativity was fairly close to me as it turns out. Mr. Herb Trimpe was doing his fine Marvel work just “down the mountain” while finished, beautiful issues were appearing in my post office mailbox in Maplecrest. We talked about that awesome fact several times before the kind, creative and incredibly-talented Trimpe passed away in April 2015.
But the toy crew was a little farther away in Rhode Island, as we all know. When I learned that I had another opportunity to visit Hasbro and, this time, to meet with the great men and women who created Joe on their turf, I knew I had to go. The 2010 JoeCon was one of the best trips I ever took, and I wanted more.
Being fairly close to Hasbro, my trip to HasCon took less than three hours. Upon my arrival, I met up with many great Joe fans — most of whom I had never seen in the flesh. I’ll forget to mention some, I’m sure, but it was great to see Dan Klingensmith, James Kavanaugh, the 3D/Triangle Joes guys, the WOJM crew, Boss Fight Studios personnel, The Full Force Team, HISS Tank Admins, Derryl DePriest and of course, the designers! So many of them were every bit as warm and friendly as the fans. The melding of creators and fandom was the coolest aspect of the weekend, to be sure! It was great that fans got to ask them questions and that the creators were able to see how much their efforts were appreciated. Everyone seemed very happy.
I chose to ignore every other property while at the con. That’s not exactly true. It was more like this — I just couldn’t bring myself to leave the Joe fans or the creators despite my love for Star Wars, Transformers and … that’s all. No MLP for me, although the superheroes do grab my attention from time to time. Thanks, MEGO.
I began my Joe experience by attending the legends dinner Friday night. I wasn’t able to get out of work on Friday, so I got to the Renaissance Hotel as soon as I could. You’ve probably seen the videos and coverage of all the events by now, so I’ll just share my personal thoughts.
Joe legends were strategically peppered around the room, seated with the fans. They were very gracious as they took the time to talk with us, answer questions, explain slides and stand with us as we observed the 2D and 3D art samples borrowed from the Hasbro Archive for the night. Rapport was built and a true love for Joe was shared from both sides of the drafting table.
The evenings were long! I can’t remember the last time I had gone to bed at 2:30 a.m., but that was my bedtime at HasCon. Although I only stayed two nights, there were so many locations and gatherings, I feel like I had a dozen different experiences after the main events of the con. Sometimes, it was just fans. Other times, it was a mix of creators and fans. Occasionally, I found myself asking, “How did I land here with almost all ’80s Hasbro people?” I didn’t spend too long questioning that.
Come back tomorrow for more coverage!